As he depicts youth’s struggles in Almost Pyaar with DJ Mohabbat, Anurag Kashyap reflects on how his fame has put undue pressure on daughter Aaliyah
Anurag Kashyap with daughter Aaliyah Kashyap
'Almost Pyaar with DJ Mohabbat' is Anurag Kashyap’s take on Gen-Z romance. In some ways, his daughter Aaliyah Kashyap had a subliminal influence on the love story starring Alaya F and Karan Mehta. The director says that his worries as a father found an outlet in this week’s release. “What kind of world are we going to leave behind for our children? This film comes from [that thought],” he reflects.
A still from the film
Understanding his daughter’s viewpoint and struggles is one of the many factors that led Anurag to make the romantic drama. Today, he says he understands that his work has no bearing on Aaliyah’s ambitions and dreams. “My daughter points out that my struggles are different [from hers]. She says, ‘You came from Benares and carried the guilt that your father borrowed money for your education, while you wanted to make films. Your stories of struggle might inspire people who want to [pursue filmmaking], but they aren’t for me.’”
While the father-daughter relationship has evolved over time, Anurag laments that his stature as a filmmaker has brought undue pressure on the 22-year-old, with people scrutinising her professional as well as personal choices. Aaliyah, who runs a YouTube channel and is the founder of a jewellery line, has often been questioned about not venturing into movies. Anurag elaborates, “She is happy to be on YouTube. She tells me, ‘My struggle is with my anxiety and mental health. It all stems from me wanting to be myself, while having the pressure of explaining myself to the world.’ Since she is my daughter, people ask her why she doesn’t want to act.”
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